Designer at work: Curt Stenz
Posted on Monday, July 2nd, 2018
1970 found Curt Stenz lettering his first signs in his parents’ basement and doing posters at high school. From there it was a one-year stint at the local university as an art major then to a technical college where he learned offset lithography. He went on to work at an advertising agency, doing paste-ups, technical illustrations and airbrushing photos—all the while doing signs on the side.
“The marketing literature utilized many cutaway photos that were sent to Chicago for retouching,” he says. “I got to see them when they came back. I brought my small Thayer and Chandler airbrush in and taught myself to retouch. Removing saw marks, scratches, moving wires around, making things look shiny—you never knew what the engineers would want. When I started using Photoshop all the tools, masks and layers just seemed so natural.”
When an economic downturn ended most of the creative work, Curt left to work at a local sign company. It turned out to be a wise move.